Allspice… what is it, and what can it be used for?

Allspice is one of the spices in our kitchen.  It tends to lie around a bit and is a rather interesting looking thing, but I was curious about what we can use it for.

allspice berries

It is best to use the unripe berries and leaves for making medicinal preparations.  It is also known as Jamaica Pepper, Clove Pepper or Pimento.  Interestingly, the flavour of the allspice berry is a mixture of black pepper, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon.

 

Allspice is used in the treatment of indigestion, intestinal gas and abdominal pain, as well heavy menstruation, vomitting and diahrrea.  It has also been used to treat fevers, colds, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.  It is also apparently great for bowel cleansing as well.

allspice oil

Allspice oil is high in eugenol, which has local anaesthetic and antiseptic properties.  It is also a mineral and vitamin powerhouse.  If you can thinking of a vitamin or mineral, then allspice probably has it in!  One interesting property of the oil is that it can slow blood clotting.  If you are on any blood thinning drugs, then please be careful when using allspice.

ground allspice

The volatile oils in the berries are rubefacients.  This means that it irritates the skin and expands the blood vessels increasing the flow of blood to make the skin feel warmer.  This means allspice is incredibly useful for the treatment of sore joints and arthritic and sore muscles.  With all the boxes we are moving in the near future, I suspect I will need some of it!

 

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